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Old 12-08-2010, 09:16 AM
 
16 posts, read 32,726 times
Reputation: 29

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For whatever reason I think that outsiders (those living in areas other than New England) tend to think of Vermont as this ski haven/winter wonderland area that is wonderful to live in. The following things are the things you need to do if you are going to move to Vermont:

Leave your opinions about the way things are done at the border. It isn't that no one cares, but Vermont does not lend itself to quick or easy decisions. Everything from groceries to snow plowing isn't easy here, and trying to MAKE it easy just doesn't work. Accept the fact that life is hard and requires lots of effort on your part and you'll find its a great place to live.

As before, LIFE IS HARD. Do not think you are going to find a three bedroom house in an idyllic neighborhood for cheap rent. Isn't going to happen. This isn't a highly populated area, and those areas that DO have a higher population also have a HUGE waiting list for housing for all incomes. Thus, the hunt is on if you want to find something that you feel is affordable and suits your lifestyle. It isn't Vermont's fault that an awful lots of its square miles are uninhabitable (unless you're a Moose or squirrel). Myself, I live in a VERY rural area, with one or two small "convenience" stores being the only store within 22 miles of me. I have a commute into Burlington every day, rain snow or shine. I chose that area because I wanted a quiet home and didn't mind the extra work and effort it takes to thrive in Vermont.

And note that I said extra WORK. If you know ahead of time that you want an easy life, please choose somewhere else. Vermont is full of out of staters who've moved here, and promptly start complaining about the state and how unfair life is. Good grief. Half of those people who moved up here after 9/11?? They've moved elsewhere. Instead of being realistic, they all wanted to feel safe without any of the work or fuss involved. I doubt that you'll find too many Vermonters who would tell you that they haven't had to work two jobs, or run their own business on the side to survive.

Stop thinking in terms of "buying" services and start thinking, long before you move, of how to supply yourself with some of those services. If you area a seamstress, start doing alterations when you arrive here. If you are a carpenter, offer to do woodworking (within your experience). And do those same things for yourself. There isn't anything odd or surprising about Vermonters working a second job, owning their own part time business, or making money doing odd jobs. We do what we need to do to survive. And most of us save our complaining for a really bad day.

I believe in self-sufficiency and taking responsibility. I believe that some of us step up when needed to make a good life for our family. And I believe those who are willing to put in more than they take out, survive well and happily in Vermont. But it requires understanding the hard work that is ahead of you if you want to begin life here.
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Old 12-08-2010, 05:59 PM
 
46 posts, read 71,801 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RRGMGR View Post
As before, LIFE IS HARD. Do not think you are going to find a three bedroom house in an idyllic neighborhood for cheap rent. Isn't going to happen. This isn't a highly populated area, and those areas that DO have a higher population also have a HUGE waiting list for housing for all incomes. ....

And I believe those who are willing to put in more than they take out, survive well and happily in Vermont. But it requires understanding the hard work that is ahead of you if you want to begin life here.
I love living a rural life. Here's the rub: housing should be cheap in a rural area. There's more land than people or jobs. And my statement is generally true across the rural United States. VT's housing shortage it completely artificial. Look no further than it's building regs and Act 250. In other words, the difficulties of life in VT did not need to be compounded by an creating an artificial shortage.

And we were surviving in Vermont. But we wanted to take those survival skills and thrive. Hard work to get ahead is one thing or live a rural life on pennies is one thing. Hard work because Vermont is afraid of building houses and infrastructure is quite another.
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Old 12-09-2010, 03:48 PM
 
20 posts, read 91,179 times
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Housing price is not determined by scarcity or lack of. It's determined by LOCATION. A state that limits development doesn't have to have a shortage of land, it has a limit on how much growth it thinks it can handle and still maintain or improve the quality of life for its residents.

It's sad but typical that people move to Vermont because they love the pristine beauty, the lack of ugly suburban sprawl, megamalls and advertising everywhere. Yet when they get there they start complaining about how it is so expensive and wanting to change the very things that brought them there in the first place. Vermonters have seen it happen with every other state and they are resisting it as hard as they can. If you aren't compatible with that way of thinking, you don't belong in Vermont. If you want rural and cheap and everything that comes with doing anything on the cheap (but of course NOT in your backyard) then live in a state that allows any developer with a handful of cash to do whatever they want.
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Old 12-09-2010, 04:22 PM
 
Location: The Woods
16,936 posts, read 22,202,288 times
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The state has completely changed in the past 40 years, just in different ways than other states. The amount of farmland has dropped like a rock in water. Vermont years ago was a state of mostly farmland in the low lands and forests higher up. The deer population has sunk, but moose and bears are more common now. I won't even go into the political changes of having sky high taxes, lunatics running the asylum, etc. Vermont years ago was very affordable like most rural states are. Chittenden County and Southern VT close to MA are turning into nothing but sprawl. Touristy towns are turning into a fake facade, a phoney Vermont created by outsiders.

I don't want the state to get too developed but sanity needs to prevail. I've seen land classified as wetland and illegal to build on literally over a single small low lying area being a mud puddle whenever it rains. Absurd...
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Old 12-10-2010, 06:32 AM
 
Location: Live - VT, Work - MA
819 posts, read 1,266,685 times
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We are starting to see more 30-40 somethings figure out how to make the new farm model work, Vermont farms can’t easily be viable relying a producing one crop/product like Dairy etc. as the largest VT farms would be some of the smallest in the mid-west. What does work is the 30-100 acre farm with multiple products, going organic for what it’s worth in the extra mark-up, artisan cheese making, specialty meats, veggies, etc. and running it like a business first and a farm second, not the other way around. This is good to see. Of course if the state was committed to supporting this type of new economy they should support this type of venture even more than they do.

In my opinion, only in rural areas of VT is the true VT still even barely on life support. I nearly puked when I traveled from the NEK to Burlington to go down RT 7 to pick up a horse trailer in New Haven…….that whole section of Chitty made me want to close my eyes and speed all the way back down Rt 2 as fast as I can. I have a friend who lives in Jericho who is a native Vermonter and I always get a kick about how he rails on and on about the out of state influence and crazy property prices and sales of vacation homes around the lake etc. Then he gets in his $40K 3rd vehicle to pickup his daughter for her daily equestrian lessons on their $11K horse while his trophy wife is working on the lovely landscaping on their $500K fantastic house that was paid for by brokering mortgages for all those “awful” sales of vacation homes to out of staters………..very ironic or hypocritical depending on how you look at it……….
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Old 12-10-2010, 07:25 AM
 
Location: Duluth, MN
520 posts, read 962,068 times
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Quote:
The state has completely changed in the past 40 years, just in different ways than other states.
You mean all those people from MA and NY who moved up to VT to buy condos, ski, or open up a quaint B&B (like they saw on the old Bob Newhart show) haven't turned the state into the economic hub that many thought they would?

I'm obviously joking, but this is why I tell people that the VT I grew up in isn't the same state today. I'm sure it's better in many ways, too. But the things I happened to like about VT - the amount of rural land versus development and the honest nature of a lot of things - seem harder to find when I go back.
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Old 12-10-2010, 07:37 AM
 
274 posts, read 594,056 times
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Name a state that is the same as it was 40 years ago.
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Old 12-10-2010, 07:55 AM
 
Location: Live - VT, Work - MA
819 posts, read 1,266,685 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by momnh View Post
Name a state that is the same as it was 40 years ago.
Excellent point; one that people seem to glaze over when speaking of VT. I'm sure many folks would like to have frozen time to get back to "the good old days" in whatever state they were from. You can't stop the passage of time and sometimes to the detriment you also cannot stop "progress".
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Old 12-10-2010, 08:56 AM
 
Location: Winter Springs, FL
1,789 posts, read 4,056,514 times
Reputation: 925
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarCii View Post
Housing price is not determined by scarcity or lack of. It's determined by LOCATION. A state that limits development doesn't have to have a shortage of land, it has a limit on how much growth it thinks it can handle and still maintain or improve the quality of life for its residents.
Location is a big part of housing prices, but the lack of housing units does have a role as well. Chittenden County prices are higher than the rest of the state because that is where most people want to live when they move to Vermont. As an owner of rural property in central Vermont, I can tell you the property has almost tripled in price since I bought it 15 years ago. I can't even say that for my home in Colchester. There are several reasons. Act 250 limits development or I should say over development, land conservation while a great idea, it takes land off the market for development. A friend of mine is an environmental lawyer that is now working with the state to look at what is really wetland and what is not. I mentioned this once before and it effected me when I bought my home in central Vermont. Years ago, one way they declaired wetlands was from arial photos. Metal roofs reflected and many homes were considered water. In my case, I bought the home and it needed a new septic system. The home was a former dairy farm and had a man made pond on it that was later filled in. The state had it listed as wetland. The inspector that came to the home said it was wetland and there was nothing he could do at the time to change that. We were forced into putting in a very expensive system because of how the land was classified. Location as well as lack of housing units have a role in price. VHFA has explained it all in their yearly reports.
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Old 12-10-2010, 11:08 AM
 
Location: Vermont
10,281 posts, read 11,168,402 times
Reputation: 14111
Quote:
Originally Posted by arctichomesteader View Post
The state has completely changed in the past 40 years, just in different ways than other states. . . .

I won't even go into the political changes of having sky high taxes, lunatics running the asylum, etc.

. . . Chittenden County and Southern VT close to MA are turning into nothing but sprawl. . . .

I don't want the state to get too developed but sanity needs to prevail. I've seen land classified as wetland and illegal to build on literally over a single small low lying area being a mud puddle whenever it rains. Absurd...
This is clearly a political post on what is supposed to be a non-political thread.

Nevertheless, I'll just point out the radical incongruity of someone complaining about sprawl and land use regulation in the same post. One of the main goals of land use regulation in Vermont is to reduce or prevent sprawl.
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